Days of Heaven and “The Magic Hour”

MV5BMTkwNTEzNTgwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODM2MTI1MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_Ok . . . back to talking about films depicting the Great Plains in one way or another.  However, it’s becoming clear that other things will continue to pop up, and it will difficult to maintain a steady stream of posts related to films.  That’s ok, I’ll just sprinkle them in when I can like I’m already doing with reviews of books.

That said, the setting for the film Days of Heaven (1978) starring a Richard Gere, Sam Shepard, and Brooke Adams is the western panhandle of Texas in the early 1900s, but it was actually shot in Alberta, Canada.  The plot is not particularly tied to the Great Plains (although it alludes to the substantial migration of people to the Great Plains at that time), but the visual scenes are some of the best and show the Great Plains in a favorable and even romantic light.  As a matter of fact, most of the scenes were shot at what is known as the “magic hour” or “golden hour” for film and photography, which is the hour or so just before sunrise or after sunset when the refracted light takes on a meloncholy softness and an emotional feel.

The visuals are indeed beautiful, and the film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 1978.  Below is a clip for the trailer.

Days of Heaven Trailer

 

 

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About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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